Five things to love about the Saints draft haul

Kristian Garic
April 29, 2019 - 7:59 pm

The Saints 2019 draft class likely won’t go down in franchise history as one that rivals the 2006 or 2017 draft.  It wasn’t sexy with selections of a stud cornerback, right tackle or running back.  This year’s class was meat and potatoes.  That’s because the team didn’t have to retool, Saints GM Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton simply needed to add to a very talented roster.  Here are five things I love about the Saints draft.

Center Erik McCoy:   The man already ordained “the REAL McCoy” by Bobby Hebert is going to be a stud!  The Saints won’t have to worry about the center position for the next 8 to 10 years, if McCoy stays healthy.  Not only does McCoy come in as the best center on the team, but he also gives the offensive line some insurance and depth.  Nick Easton was signed by the Saints in free agency.  Easton will likely battle Andrus Peat at the left guard spot, while also battling Erik McCoy for the starting center spot.  Andrus Peat is not in the long term plans for the Saints.  He’ll be a free agent after this season and the Saints already have his replacement in the building.

Safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson:  Chauncey might prove to be one of the biggest steals of the draft. “The Law firm” (as I call him) gives the Saints another young playmaker in the secondary.  Vonn Bell is scheduled to hit free agency next spring, and could be too expensive for the Saints.  Gardner-Johnson can compete for time in the secondary at both safety positions or as a slot cover guy in the nickel and dime defensive packages.  He can play down in the box, or deep safety. The great news, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is comfortable wherever the Saints want to use him.

The Saints drafted value.  This lives up to the goal of smart NFL franchises.  Simply stay true to the draft board that you’ve spent almost a full year building.  The Saints stuck to their draft board and the result is three of their top 70 ranked players are now members of the Black & Gold.  That’s the epitome of great value.

Tight End Alize’ Mack:  Is a player who could go down in Saints history as another 7th round gem.  The Saints hit on a little known Wide Receiver Marques Colston in the 7th round in 2006, and an eventual starting right tackle in Zach Strief.  Mack was the number one ranked tight end in the country coming out of high school.  I think Notre Dame Head coach Brian Kelly is very good offensive mind, but not even in the same universe as Sean Payton.  Coach Payton will know exactly how to scheme Mack’s talents into success.  Look out!  This could be the most fruitful pick, especially if Drew Brees and Alize’ Mack develop a deep connection and chemistry. 

Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton, and Jeff Ireland:  The Saints top brass masterfully maneuvered the 2019 Draft, despite going into the weekend with just one pick in the first four rounds.  The triumvirate brain trust pulled off a cunning trade for Erik McCoy that netted the team a fourth round pick, and turned that pick into Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.  The Saints had the safety much higher on their draft board than the fourth round, so they traded up to grab him.  The Saints are aggressive in the draft and aren’t afraid to be second guessed.   That strategy scores nicely more often than not.

All in all, this New Orleans Saints draft class isn’t loaded with playmakers, but the guys they selected are quality people and players who will contribute.  Every player the Black & Gold trinity chose fits the Saints criteria:  high character, talent and passion.  Mickey, Sean and Jeff keep doing you!  

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